If I ever call Qatar home someday, the Qatar National Library in the kingdom’s education city will be my regular haunt.
I’ll be lost in the maze of its many passages along the bright and airy interior of the diamond shaped building.
It’s architecture is one thing, the rows of book racks and the collections they hold is just something else.
Opened last November, under the umbrella of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), this library features over a million books, special collections, periodicals and occasional exhibitions.
The OMA-design building by Dutch architect Rem Koolhas incorporates electrical and automated systems to help run this modern facility – making book searches and borrowing and returning books a breeze.
The library’s diamond shaped facade and undulating windows allow natural light in, while the right choice of building material including floor tiles reflect lights and shapes in a way that make this place a calm oasis for any person who walks in.
In it is the main section, an open area with comfy seats, children and teen sections, and internet and multimedia facilities among others.
My favourite section is the Heritage Library, located in the middle of the QNL building.
It holds and displays some rare and valuable texts and manuscripts related to Arabic and Islamic civilization.
In addition to Arabic manuscripts, historical maps and globes, scientific instruments and early photography, the Heritage Library also contains writings by travelers who explored the Arabian Gulf region over the centuries.
The Qatar Education City itself is a must visit when you are here, if not for the various centers of knowledge, at least for the architecture of the structures and buildings at the site.